Just 'Own It...'
Sales can be one of those careers that will either make you or break you. Over the past twenty-five years, it has been the line of work I’ve pursued to provide for my family. From mortgage loans to selling software to consulting on Microsoft licensing.
A little over six years ago, while at a national sales conference, I was faced with an account manager who I shared an account with who had a tendency to put issues with her accounts onto everyone else. Even though it wasn’t their fault, she would find a way to blame them.
At the conference, she had escalated a customer issue that I had been working on and already had resolved, but the timing wasn't soon enough for her. She decided to corner my VP in the hotel hallway between meetings and explain how this issue wasn’t getting enough attention from me; even though she hadn’t consulted with me to see what the latest status was.
My VP, a friend of mine who I am very loyal to, came to me and explained that this rep had complained. She knew I was good with getting the job done as I had been one of the top software reps for several years. But, because this account manager was very vocal, she needed to say something.
After explaining to her that the account manager was being difficult and that I had the issue nearly resolved, she had but one piece of advice for me. She said, ‘Brad. Just OWN IT…’. And she walked away.
I’ll never forget that moment. Sure, I felt as though I had been thrown under the bus a bit, but that wasn’t what my VP saw as important. What she saw was the need for me, whether justified or not, to take charge of the problem and own it; i.e. make it happen regardless of the account manager’s attitude. So, I did.
Much of life is that way. Quite often we feel as though we’ve been, or are being, unfairly treated. We focus on the negative and how it’s making us feel. We see the issue from the perspective of someone else’s fault. Unless we can get past those types of thoughts and personal attitudes, it will seem as though life is always in control and we’re just getting by.
My VP knew I needed to get past those thoughts. She didn’t want to hear excuses or how this account manager had a bad attitude (she already knew that anyway). What she wanted to see, was me take personal responsibility, humble myself, and get the job done regardless. She wanted me to 'Own it".
Tonight, I went to mow my neighbors grass along with our lawn because we’re expecting rain this weekend. I found myself thinking that I was going to be tired tomorrow, that it was too humid, and questioning why I keep helping this neighbor.
God wasn’t having anything to do my attitude. The words of my VP came into my mind and heart with that still, small voice saying, ‘Brad, Own it…’. That was all I needed. I changed my attitude and worked through the humidity (totally soaking my clothes) and finished both lawns.
It’s a lesson I would wish for all my kids. When life seems unfair and that you’re getting the short end of the stick. When you feel like all your problems are because of someone else. When you think that you can’t make it. Then, it’s time to just ‘OWN IT’.
Take the bull by the horns, grit your teeth, and dig in to get the job done. Don’t wait for someone else to make I happen for you. Don’t blame others for what you don’t have. Don’t sit in self-pity because life isn’t fair.
You can do it. Believe in yourself. Most of all, believe that God believes in YOU. When you ‘Own it’, you give it to God and ask for His strength and wisdom to get you through. He can and will turn things around, but He needs you to believe and to put your hand to plow.
Tonight, if you’re feeling like giving up, don’t. Keep at it. Keep trusting. Keep loving and keep living for Him. Your path will become clear and, one day when you look back and see how far you’ve come, you’ll be glad that you decided to ‘Own it’…
Love always friend,
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